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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 20, 2016 4:00am-4:31am GMT

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welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name's mike embley. our top stories: death on the streets of berlin. 12 people are killed, 48 injured, as a truck is driven into a crowded christmas market. german police say the man who was apparently driving the truck is under arrest. a passenger was found dead in the cab. russia's ambassador to turkey is shot dead by an off—duty policeman. moscow calls it an act of terrorism. and it's official, the electoral college confirms the vote. donald trump will be the next president of the united states. hello. german police are questioning a man thought to be the driver of the truck that ploughed into a christmas market in berlin. at least 12 people are now known to have been killed
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and 50 were injured. some of them seriously. germany's interior minister says there are many signs suggesting a deliberate attack. it happened around 8:30pm in the evening, local time, in a busy area near central berlin. eyewitnesses describe the vehicle ploughing through the market square, near the kaiser willhelm memorial church, with no apparent attempt to slow down. reports quoting german security sources have suggested the driver was an asylum seeker from afghanistan or pakistan. greg dawson reports. beneath the lights of the christmas market, investigators examine the articulated lorry that has caused so much death and destruction. it was loaded with steel beams when it ploughed into the crowds. this is the immediate aftermath of what police suspect was a deliberate attack on one of berlin's biggest christmas markets. just moments earlier, people had been eating, drinking, and shopping. rhys meredith, from cardiff, was visiting the market with his girlfriend. we heard it knocking down the stalls
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at an amazing rate of knots. there was no skidding wheels, clearly no attempt to slow down, despite him veering out of the market. the driver of the lorry fled on foot, but a man was arrested nearby shortly afterwards. police say a second person, who was also inside the vehicle, died at the scene. the lorry belonged to a polish company. the owner insists his driver could not have been responsible. translation: the person who was driving and jumped out of the truck was not my driver. i can vouch for my driver. they did something to him, and hijacked his truck. at least 50 people are injured, some of them critically. it is thought the death toll may rise. translation: it is terrible to witness this.
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i had hoped we would never experience something like this here in berlin. police on the ground are doing everything they can. they are working with fire crews and hospitals, and are making sure the injured are being taken care of. the situation is under control. now the experts have to do their work, and hopefully on the basis of that, we can determine what happened here tonight. authorities say there is no indications of any other dangerous situation in the city. but the german government has said the evidence so far points to this being a deliberate attack. it evokes memories of the lorry attack on bastille day crowds in the french city of nice injuly, when 86 people were killed. the so—called islamic state group claimed responsibility. investigations are still at a very early stage, but if it is proven this was deliberate,
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europe will be dealing yet again with an act of terrorism in one of its capital cities. greg dawson, bbc news. earlier, our correspondent jenny hill gave us an update from the scene of the crash. earlier this evening, hundreds, thousands of people came down to this — one of berlin's biggest christmas markets — expecting to enjoy the festivities, with no idea, of course, that at some point during the evening, this truck, which i think you can make out behind me — it's a huge, heavy good vehicle — came ploughing in amongst the stalls, in amongst the people, sending them flying. bodies lay scattered under the christmas lights where moments before people had been eating, drinking and enjoying the atmosphere. there are still a great deal of questions to be answered. in the meantime, a lot of people are in hospital tonight. at least 50 injured. we saw some of them taken away by ambulance. some of them clearly in a very bad state indeed. we know at the moment nine people were killed tonight. it may yet be that the death toll will rise further.
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yes, that death toll reason now to 12. let's get some more reaction to events in berlin. although german police have not yet said who was behind the incident, in the us, president—elect donald trump has issued a statement saying... germany's foreign minister frank—walter steinmeier said... and in france, security has been beefed up at christmas markets across the country. president hollande described the incident as... i spoke to eli berman, who's an economics professor and research director for international security studies at uc san diego. it is a horrible attack, and, of course, you always have sympathy for the families of the innocents. and outrage that at this time, in any place, innocents would be killed for no reason.
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there are several possible scenarios here as to what happened. what are the issues surrounding all of this, do you think? i think it is important not to jump to conclusions, as you said, but we could speculate. there are really three categories this could fall into, and they have different implications. the first is that it is an accident or the act of a psychopath, which really has no political content at all, like a school shooting. that would be tragic, of course, but not terrorism. at the other extreme, it could be an act of premeditated terrorism like the paris and 9—11 attacks, in which the driver was actually an operative and had a plan. and then there is the middle category, which is what we have seen more of lately in nice and orlando, where the attacker was a psychopath on the one hand, but activated by isis propaganda online, and perhaps given the similarities with the nice attack on bastille day,
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and with the orlando attack, you'd think that might be the case here. our other major story, of course, the assassination of russia's ambassador to turkey. andrei karlov was addressing a gathering in ankara when an off—duty turkish police officer shot him several times in the back and head, shouting, "don't forget aleppo," and, "revenge." there have recently been days of protests in turkey against russia's role in syria. the bbc‘s mark lowen has the latest. his report does contain flashing images. russia's ambassador to turkey opening an exhibition in ankara. waiting behind him, his assassin. as andrei karlov speaks, the gunman opens fire, killing the ambassador. gunfire he screams, "allahu akbar," god is greatest,
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before in turkish, "don't forget about aleppo, don't forget about syria. so long as they aren't safe, you won't taste safety either." as the attacker was shot dead by police, the ambassador was rushed to hospital. his wife was led out, clearly shaken. soon after, andrei karlov succumbed to his injuries. the gunman was named by the authorities as a turkish police officer, mert altintas, born in 1994. he had been working for the riot police for two and a half years. his sister and mother have been detained. 62—year—old andrei karlov had a0 years of diplomatic experience, ambassador in ankara since 2013. he handled difficult relations. russia and turkey have been on opposite sides of the syrian war, but a recent rapprochement between the two halted the fighting in aleppo. president erdogan said it wouldn't be thrown off course. translation: i describe this attack on russia's ambassador as an attack
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on turkey, an attack on turkey's state and nation. after the incident, i talked to mr putin. we agreed this is a provocation and there isn't any dispute. president putin called the attack a ploy to wreck the syrian peace process. syria's war has killed hundreds of thousands. it's just had another deadly impact. ozge ozdemir is from the bbc turkish service. she has more details about the gunman. we know the identity of the gunman who shot the russian ambassador. he was a police officer working in ankara, in the capital of turkey, for 2.5 years. he graduated from a police school in izmir, a city on the western coast of turkey. so right now we know the identity, and the friends and family of the policeman who shot the russian ambassador
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are in custody and are also being investigated by police. a lot of people paying attention to the footage shot at the scene. extraordinary, an ap photographer kept filming while the threat was there. many people drawing attention to what the gunman said, and the way he was standing, the gestures he was making as he was saying what he was saying. it was the opening of a photo exhibition in ankara, and the russian ambassador was giving a speech at the time. the gunman was behind him. he opened shots in the air, and shot the russian ambassador. he then said, "don't forget aleppo, don't forget syria. we will not let you be safe over here until all syrians are safe." he also said some words in arabic. there are also discussions about it on social media. some turkish journalists are saying these lyrics are related to some
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chants of al-qaeda or al—nusra, while some say it is just arabic, some phrases from the koran. there is speculation about it. but most people are talking about what he meant by saying these words. inevitably, people drawing comparisons and saying these are the kind of incidents that start wars. the first world war, for instance. it is also possible this incident draws russia and turkey, at the moment, closer together. russia and turkey were working very closely on the aleppo issue. for example, russian leader putin has said and emphasised they were working closely with turkey, and the attack is against this cooperation. also, turkish president erdogan also said we were working together with russia, so this attack is against relations between turkey and russia. so, yes, there are some comments saying maybe the relations may be worsening after this incident, but there are stronger comments about this issue saying that turkey and russia will be co—operating more on syria with that incident. just briefly, there is an important
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meeting tomorrow which i think is still going ahead? exactly. the russian, iranian and turkish foreign ministers are going to meet together in moscow, russia's capital. while this incident was happening, the turkish foreign minister was just on a plane and going to russia for that meeting. so these foreign ministers will be talking about the syrian issue tomorrow. as ozge was saying, that meeting in moscow between iran, russia and turkey will go ahead on tuesday. it's expected to focus on syria. on monday, the un security council unamimously adopted a resolution calling for un officials to monitor the mass evacuations from rebel—held east aleppo. thousands more people have been brought out, although the un and red cross say thousands remain. here's our middle east editorjeremy bowen. chanting noisy demonstrations in turkey at the weekend condemned russia's support of the assad regime. throughout the war, turkey has
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been on the other side, backing the rebels. the protests were organised, but it could be that the man who killed the russian ambassador acted alone. he seems, though, to have been part of a sense of national and religious humiliation among some turks after russia's decisive action. turkey shot down a russian warplane it said had violated its airspace not long after russia's intervention just over a year ago. but since then turkey and russia have tried to avoid clashes. too much is at stake. both say the assassination won't change their warmer relationship. these are russian special forces troops in syria. the turkish equivalents are in the country too, mainly preoccupied with the kurds. but there is an obvious rivalry between two major powers who've intervened on opposite sides in the syrian war. andrei karlov, the late russian ambassador, accompanied his president on trips in the region.
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he died in the fallout from mr putin's decision to make russia a power in the middle east again. also paying a heavy price are syrians, being bussed out of eastern aleppo into an uncertain future. more than half syria's prewar percolation has been displaced by the war. the evacuation from eastern aleppo has been so difficult to arrange because of all the factors that make the war in syria so hard to solve. it isn'tjust about doing a deal between those who support the regime and those who don't. foreign powers who have intervened in syria have their own rivalries that go above and beyond the war. and they have the biggest say. in new york, the un security council passed a new resolution calling for monitors to watch over what's happening and proper access for humanitarian aid in aleppo. it might be too little, too late, and it's not clear how soon it can be implemented, if at all.
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right now, it's an important step that i think a couple of days ago people would not have thought the russian federation would have allowed to go through the council, but until it's implemented, it's just a piece of paper. the syrians, closely allied with russia, are deeply suspicious of western motives. we oppose the attempts of some member states to draft and submit, under humanitarian cover, a crafty and vague terms and loose phrases that tolerate more than one interpretation. the fall of aleppo does not end this complex and unpredictable war. the fight for syria creates and exports crises. the assassination in turkey is the latest and there is still no coherent international desire to bring peace any closer. stay with us on bbc news.
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still to come: signed, sealed and delivered. the electoral college confirms donald trump's victory as president of the united states. we saw this enormous tidal wave approaching the beach, and people started to run, and suddenly it was complete chaos. united states troops have been trying to overthrow the dictatorship of general manuel noriega. the pentagon said the operation had been 90% successful, but it's failed in its principal objective, to capture general noriega and take him to the united states to face drugs charges. the hammer and sickle was hastily taken away. the russian flag was hoisted over what is now no longer the soviet union, but the commonwealth of independent states. day broke slowly over lockerbie, over the cockpit of the pan—am's maid of the seas,
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nose—down in the soft earth. you could see what happens when a plane eight storeys high, a football pitch wide, falls from 30,000 feet. christmas has returned to albania after a communist ban lasting more than 20 years. thousands went to midnight mass in the town where there were anti—communist riots ten days ago. this is bbc news. i'm mike embley. the latest headlines: a truck has killed 12 people after it was driven into crowds at a christmas market in berlin. german police say the apparent driver of the vehicle's under arrest while a passenger was killed. three men have been injured in a gun attack at a muslim prayer centre in the swiss city of zurich. police said an unknown person entered the islamic centre and began shooting. officers searching for the gunman say a body has been found a few hundred metres away, but it's unclear if the dead person is connected with the attack. the bbc‘s tim allman reports. police seal off the area surrounding the islamic centre not far from zurich's main train station.
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officers continue their investigation into this senseless attack on people at prayer. it was around 5:30pm local time when the gunmen entered the building, used as a mosque, and opened fire. eyewitnesses described him as being around 30 years old, wearing dark clothing and a dark cap. three people were injured, two of them seriously. translation: the three men who have been shot are in hospital. we couldn't question them yet. we are looking for eyewitnesses. i can tell you there's no more danger for the public. not far away a body was found, but police won't say if it was the suspect or if it's connected to the shooting at all. the victims are believed to be from somalia. locals say the mosque attracted muslims from all around the world. translation: this mosque has been
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here since 2012 and we've never had any problems. we never had to deal with the police, we never had arguments. this was a quiet, joyful place. no problems here but there have been tensions in switzerland. the country's islamic population rising to around 5%, part of that increase due to immigration from the former yugoslavia. police on patrol, the investigation goes on, officers say they will reveal more details on tuesday. tim allman, bbc news. in other news: tensions are running high in the democratic republic of congo, where presidentjoseph kabila has refused to step down. monday should have been his last day in office, but no elections have been held to choose a successor. in some parts of the capital, kinshasa, clashes have taken place between police and protesters demanding he leaves office. the head of the international monetary fund, christine lagarde, has been found guilty of negligence over a compensation payment made eight years ago when she was the french finance minister. a special court in paris decided not to punish her or give her a criminal record.
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the executive has reaffirmed confidence in her. the case relates to the payment of more than four—hundred—million dollars to the tycoon bernard tapie. president 0bama has pardoned 78 people and shortened the sentence of 153 others convicted of federal crimes, the greatest number of individual clemencies in a single day by any president. he has focused primarily on shortening sentences of those convicted of drug offences rather than giving pardons. the australian transport safety authority says experts now believe the missing malaysian aircraft, flight mh370, is almost certainly not in the current search zone in the remote indian ocean, but could be further north. in a report, the authority said investigators want to extend the search area. the malaysian airlines plane disappeared in march 2014 with 239 people on board. well, his successor, donald trump, has been formally elected president of the united states. as expected, members of the electoral college, themselves chosen by the election in november, have voted in favour of mr trump at meetings across the country. bill hayton reports. this is where the president of the united states is actually elected. after months of primaries, campaigning and voting day itself, this is how the us constitution says it must be done. at small meetings across the country, one in each of the 50 states, plus another in washington, dc, trusted citizens cast their votes for the next
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occupant of the white house. you're here to represent a constitution and you're here to represent the voice of the people of this state, even if it may not agree with your own views. 0n election day, citizens don't vote directly for the president. they vote for electors, one for each congressperson the state sends to washington. those 538 electors then elect the president. in almost all states it's a winner takes all system, so in pennsylvania where donald trump's victory margin was less than 1% he still gets all 20 electoral college votes. attempts to persuade electors to become faithless and not vote for him came to nothing. the people voted and they placed their vote as they should and had a right to on november the eighth, and that's the basis of the vote we placed today in my mind, i placed that vote for the people of pennsylvania who voted in a certain way. hillary clinton actually won 2.5 million more votes than donald trump
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but lost in the electoral college. that infuriated some of her supporters, especially those who believe the outcome was influenced by russian government hacking. the trump campaign wants to turn the page, mike pence tweeted his congratulations. barring unforeseen events, at midday onjanuary the 20, he'll become vice president and donald trump the 45th president of the united states. bill hayton, bbc news. the first lady, michelle 0bama, has spoken to oprah winfrey for her final one—on—one interview inside the white house. she discussed her eight years as first lady, the legacy she'll leave behind, and her plans for the future. she also had some advice for melania trump. we talked about the kids, but my offer to melania was, you really don't know what you don't know until you're here. the door is open, as i told her, and as laura bush told me, and as other first ladies told me, so i'm not new in this
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going high thing. i'm modelling what was done for me by the bushes and laura bush was nothing but gracious and helpful and her team was right there for my team all throughout this entire eight—year process. and your team is doing the same? we will do whatever they need to help them succeed. that's one of the things i said to melania. when you get to a place when you can digest all this and you have questions, because you don't have questions the day after the election. it's, sort of, like, you're looking round the house and, what do you want to no, i don't know what i want to know, and i knew that. my door was open and that was really the nature of the meeting. michelle 0bama and oprah winfrey, of course. briefly, the main news. german authorities are questioning
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a man they believe deliberately drove a truck into a crowded christmas market in berlin. german investigators are sifting through the wreckage. the latest figures are at least 12 people killed, 48 injured, many of those seriously. it is possible the death toll will rise. the interior minister of germany said there were many indications of a deliberate attack. reports say german security forces say he was a driver from afghanistan 01’ say he was a driver from afghanistan or pakistan. police say it had polish license plates, the truck. the passenger was polish but may not have been involved. eyewitnesses said it crashed without any apparent attempt to slow down. much more
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information for you on the website as always. you can get in touch with me and the rest of the team on twitter. i am mike embley. thank you for watching. please come again. hello there. 0ur weather is set to undergo a marked change in conditions over the next 36 hours to take us through the rest of the week, with wetter and windier spells set to work their way in. pushing this change is a jetstream that is now roaring into life out of north america, charging across the atlantic towards us. and with some pretty high speeds in amongst thatjetstream it will whip up some deep areas of low pressure very close to the uk later this week and to take us into the christmas weekend, one system after another. we will keep you updated, of course,
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on all those details as we get closer. 0ut there today, though, it is still a fairly quiet, benign picture. to the south and east of the front, it is largely frost free, lots of cloud with patchy rain and drizzle on the front. we start the day in scotland and northern ireland with the chilly conditions, widespread frost, and some patches of mist and fog. much of scotland will be fog free but lots of frost around first thing. lots of sunshine too. first hints of a change is the breeze picking up in the hebrides to begin the morning. winds in northern ireland light to begin with. they will shift later as the breeze picks up. not too much problem with the wind across england and wales. fairly light winds here. but compared with recent days, not as misty, some mist around a few brea ks in the cloud for central and eastern england. to the west, around here, cloudy outbreaks of rain. that will be around that same areas all day long. rain turning light and patchier. away from that, central and eastern england, more sunshine than recent days but heavy showers
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on the south coast. still some brightness for eastern scotland through the day. turning wetter and windier for northern ireland and western scotland. gales or severe gales developing here to finish the day and into the night. wet and windy weather into england and wales into wednesday morning. that will open the door to colder air and clear skies with showers for wednesday in scotland. and along the little front on wednesday the winds will pick up. that could cause a few travel issues. if you are heading out across scotland and northern ireland on wednesday, gales, if not severe gales at times as wind accompanies squally showers, dropping snow notjust on the hills but at lower levels at times in the far north. on wednesday, northern england, the midlands, wales, dry and bright. fairly cloudy in the south with occasional rain. that will clear into thursday. better day on thursday in the south. dry, brighter and less breezy. a bit chillier, especially further north, with a noticeable breeze. and some further showers at times. then stormy weather into the end of the week. and as christmas approaches, a deep area of low pressure pushes north—west. if your travel plans are weather dependent, keep tuned to the forecast.
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the latest headlines from bbc news. my name's mike embley. german police are questioning a man they suspect of deliberately driving a truck into a crowded christmas market in berlin. at least 12 people were killed and 48 injured, some seriously. germany's interior minister has said many signs suggest a deliberate attack. there are reports the truck was stolen from a building site in poland. russia's president putin has described monday's assassination of the russian ambassador to turkey as a provocation intended to derail peace efforts in syria. andrey karlov was killed by an off—duty police officer as he spoke at an art gallery in ankara. the electoral college in the us has cleared the way for donald trump to become the next american president. as expected, most delegates confirmed the election of mr trump, who secured more electoral college votes than hillary clinton. she won nearly three million more votes nationwide.
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